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MLB notebook: League may try to suspend A-Rod under CBA

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Monday, July 29, 2013, 9:09 p.m.
 

Major League Baseball may try to suspend Alex Rodriguez under its collective bargaining agreement instead of its drug rules, which would eliminate any chance of delaying a penalty until after the case goes to an arbitrator, the Associated Press learned.

Rodriguez has never been disciplined for a drug offense, and a first offender under baseball's Joint Drug Agreement is entitled to an automatic stay if the players' association files a grievance — meaning the penalty is put on hold until after an arbitrator rules.

While use of banned performance-enhancing substances falls under the drug agreement, MLB may argue other alleged violations are punishable under the labor contract, a person familiar with management's deliberations told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Angels trade reliever to Braves

The Braves added a needed left-hander to their bullpen by acquiring Scott Downs from the Angels for minor league righty Cory Rasmus.

The Braves have lost left-handed relievers Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty to season-ending elbow injuries. The 37-year-old Downs joins Luis Avilan as lefties in Atlanta's bullpen.

Downs was 2-3 with a 1.84 ERA in 43 games with the Angels. He is 36-35 with a 3.47 ERA in 12 seasons.

Rays bolster bullpen with Crain

The Rays acquired reliever Jesse Crain in a trade with the White Sox, bolstering their bullpen for the stretch run in the competitive AL East.

Crain is on the disabled list with a right-shoulder strain but could return soon. The 32-year-old right-hander is 2-3 with a 1.15 ERA in 38 appearances this season.

The White Sox also sent cash to Tampa Bay and will receive players to be named or cash back in the deal.

Tigers acquire Veras from Astros

The Tigers added help for their shaky bullpen, acquiring reliever Jose Veras from the Astros for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.

Veras, a former Pirate, is 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 19 saves this season, and the 32-year-old right-hander has struck out 44 in 43 innings with only 14 walks.

Body of ex-major leaguer recovered

Authorities recovered the body of former major league pitcher Frank Castillo after he apparently drowned at a lake northeast of Phoenix.

Maricopa County sheriff's officials say divers pulled the 44-year-old's body out of Bartlett Lake.

Family members and friends say Castillo wasn't a good swimmer, but he jumped off a pontoon boat Sunday afternoon for a swim and didn't resurface.

Divers searched for several hours before suspending the search until Monday.

Around the league

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz won't be suspended for destroying two dugout phones with his bat during this weekend's series in Baltimore. ... Blue Jays Double-A outfielder Brian Van Kirk was suspended for 50 games without pay after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse. ... George “Boomer” Scott, a three-time All-Star first baseman during the 1960s and '70s who hit 271 career homers, has died. ... Marlins pitcher Kevin Slowey will be out four to six weeks with a strained right forearm muscle.

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